Symptoms of Congestion

The symptoms of congestion are intermittent, and the following problems may be due not to congestion but to some underlying problem within the network. This is another reason why problems that result from congestion are so difficult to diagnose.

The following example shows why congestion problems are difficult to identify. If the link is running near bandwidth capacity and the connected devices are overwhelmed, any additional traffic will cause problems. Because the packets are randomly dropped, it is difficult to track where the problems have occurred. Therefore, the network will have equally random failures. The symptoms of network congestion are consequently difficult to troubleshoot because some protocols are more sensitive than others and will time out after very short delays are experienced. However, the network administrator who knows his network well will soon identify these recurring problems. The following are three symptoms of network congestion:

• Applications time out.

• Clients cannot connect to network resources.

• Network death results.


Packets are randomly dropped only if there is not quality of service (QoS) configured within the network.

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